AA8IA Amateur Radio

80m Inverted V ready for the OHQP

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Raised the 80m inverted V today. 38′ apex and ends just inches from the ground, 12 feet away from the back of a two-story house doesn’t sound optimum does it? Well, it does if you consider the alternative for 80/40m operation. The only other antenna I have is a Alpha Delta DX-EE (a 40-10m parallel dipole which is shortened on 40m, total length 42 feet).

The DX-EE would tune up and both 40m and 80m, and it hears just as well as the V on 40m. But on 80m it doesn’t hear worth a damned, nor is it efficient. No surprise there.

This V is fed with 40-something feet of ladderline into a DXE current balun, and then 8 feet of RG-213 into the house to the tuner. (I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of getting ladderline into the house)

The 80m inverted-V is magnitudes better on 80 for reception, and all signs tell me it is magnitudes better for transmit as well. It has been up for two other contests.

The previous times I had it up, I could only get the tuner to tune it on 80m, and I expected better given that it was fed with mostly ladderline. I took special care today to get the ladderline a foot away from the fiberglass mast, the back deck, and the bush at the bottom where it comes under the porch. I also moved all the rolls of wires and tools that were setting an inch away from the balun. Something I did has now allowed it to tune on every band I’ve tried (not 160m, didn’t even bother to try that). So, as it stands now it tunes up pretty easily on 80m-10m including 12m. I will check out 17m/30m later.

During the OHQP I certainly want to make as many Qs as possible, but I particularly want to be able to snag as much action I can in-state from the different counties. Without a decent 40/80m antenna that just wasn’t going to possible.

I think everything is ready to go. I want to make some changes when Fall arrives. I have been thinking long and hard about ways to get the inverted V up a little higher, including ways to get the ends up off the ground 8 feet or more. Currently this is a portable/temporary setup — The ends are inches [or less] from the ground. I want to move the fiberglass mast another 20 feet out away from the house. Without forking out cash for a new mast I likely won’t be able to go any higher than a 38 foot apex. But certainly raising the ends up off the ground makes it much safer for people out on the lawn as well as lessens the chance that deer will get tangled up in it and pull the whole contraption down. The other [more important] benefit is that doing all of this would provide me with better tuning and quite possibly some increased performance.

Yes, I realize everyone and their mother has at least one tower, at least one beam, at least one amp, and a half dozen talls trees in their yard to facilitate stringing up antennae. This guy doesn’t. Truly a modest station. I’m not alone, but if you’d hear every ham tell it they have the best station on earth. I just don’t make any bones about the fact that I’m running strictly with wires and am trying to improve upon a wire-only antenna system as much as possible.

Written by Mike

August 27th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

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